The United Nations has released a civilian casualty report detailing how many people have lost their lives or been injured since Russia launched an invasion last week.
The conflict entered its sixth day today, March 1, as Russia continues to inflict damage by targeting major cities, residential buildings and government property under orders from President Vladimir Putin.
Civilians have been urged to take shelter or evacuate from their homes as a result of the fighting, but tragically the United Nations has confirmed that the number of fatalities has already exceeded 100.
🇺🇦#Ukraine: Between 24 February morning and midnight last night, our Office has recorded 536 civilian casualties, incl. 136 civilians killed (13 children) and 400 civilians injured (26 children).— UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) March 1, 2022
Hostilities must end now.https://t.co/USdmDKc7hz pic.twitter.com/KtPrOPLKmK
Released today, March 1, the announcement covers casualties from between 4.00am on February 24, shortly before explosions began to ring out in Ukraine, to midnight on February 28.
Figures from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights revealed at least 136 fatalities, including 13 children, while injuries amount to at least 400.
The previous day, the UN released a report which revealed almost 200 of the casualties which had been recorded at the time took place in Donetsk and Luhansk, regions which Putin declared as independent shortly before the invasion, while a further 38 were in territory controlled by the self-proclaimed republics, the report explains.
The remaining casualties took place in other regions of Ukraine which were under government control when they occurred. The UN explains most of the casualties were caused by the use of explosives with a wide impact area, 'including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, and air strikes.'
Commenting on the casualties on Monday, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said 'the picture is grim - and could get worse still'.
From 4am on 2/24, when Russia’s invasion began, until midnight on 2/27, Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recorded 406 civilian casualties in Ukraine: 102 killed and 304 injured. But real numbers likely much higher. Most caused by heavy artillery, MLRS, air strikes. pic.twitter.com/iEukt0XFq3— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) March 1, 2022
While addressing the UN Security Council via teleconference, Griffiths said the real number of civilian casualties could be 'be considerably higher, as many reported casualties have yet to be confirmed,' CNN reports.
He said: 'Aerial attacks and fighting in urban areas are damaging critical civilian facilities and disrupting essential services such as health, electricity, water and sanitation, which effectively leaves civilians without the basics for day-to-day life.'
As the conflict continues, Griffiths said there are currently 119 humanitarian organisations operating in Ukraine, though their ability to provide assistance has been limited due to the ongoing military action. He has called on the parties involved in the war to offer assurances that 'humanitarian workers and movements will be protected even during the most severe days of the conflict and not waiting for the conflict to subside.'
In response to the war, Griffiths announced that the UN Secretary-General will launch a humanitarian appeal today which will include a three-month 'Flash Appeal' for donations for the situation in Ukraine and a 'Regional Refugee Response Plan' for the situation outside Ukraine.
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information